No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast opened up a 10-shot lead on the field after the first round of the MACJC Tournament, played Saturday in Raymond.
The Bulldogs finished 4-over 292, with Meridian 10 back. Hinds is another two shots behind, with Itawamba one more back.
Gulf Coast's Brice Wilkinson (So., Madison Central/Madison) is two shots behind Copiah-Lincoln's Bryson Jones. Wilkinson shot 2-under 70 at Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Jon Hopkins (Fr., Hockerill Anglo-European College/Bishop's Stortford, England) is tied for third at even-par.
"We played OK," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "We didn't make any big mistakes. Jon had a tough stretch in the middle and made bogeys on 9, 10 and 11, but then came back with an eagle on 14. He fought back. Brice was typical Brice. Birdie here, birdie there. Held it throughout."
Three Bulldogs are among five golfers tied for eighth at 3-over: Jake Crosson (Fr., New Hope/Columbus), Miles Jackson (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) and Patrick Powers (Fr., St. Stanislaus/Gulfport). Powers is playing as an individual.
The Bulldogs have won seven state championships since 2008 and been runners-up two other times in that span. The school has 12 title in its history.
Rain had some effect on the course, and there's bad weather moving through Saturday night that might affect the final round, scheduled to be played Sunday.
Gulf Coast will play in the District D Tournament in Amory on April 27-28. The NJCAA Division II Championship will be in Plymouth, Ind., on May 21-24.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
|1. Gulf Coast||292 (+4)|
|2. Meridian||302 (+14)|
|3. Hinds||304 (+16)|
|4. Itawamba||305 (+17)|
|5. Copiah-Lincoln||317 (+29)|
|2. Brice Wilkinson||70 (-2)|
|T3. Jon Hopkins||72 (E)|
|T8. Jake Crosson||75 (+3)|
|T8. Miles Jackson||75 (+3)|
|T8. Patrick Powers*||75 (+3)|
|T14. Carter Nicholson||77 (+5)|
|T14. Nathan Woolard*||77 (+5)|
|* — Playing as individual|